Friday, October 1, 2010

I settled a traffic accident with a major insurance company

by myself.

No lawyers.

A couple of weeks ago I got hit pretty good, no physical injury but my vehicle got plastered. The policeman that arrived whaled the other driver with a pretty good ticket.

I called my insurance company on the spot and propmtly was assigned a caseworker who explained myy options. She told me that I could simply do what most people do, which is cough up my deductable and let them take care of it or I could bypass my insurance company and see if the other guys company would cover it.

If I went the usual route, according to PA law, my insurance company would have to try and recover my deductable. I would have lost my good driver credits and possibly my rates would go up. As far as recovering my deductable, I really didn't think I'd get it all back because when you give someone money they are generally pretty slow on returning it. There always seems to be an angle.

I looked at the police report and what I had to work with and gave it a shot. After all, I had nothing to lose but the time I spent pursuing it.

I got in touch with the other drivers case worker and explained that I was trying to sidestep my insurance company and keep my record clean. He understood.

I was polite, professional, firm, and as he found out, persistent.

It didn't take long to get results, really. When he figured out that all I wanted was my truck repaired and that there was no personal injury I guess he was overjoyed.

All this required was some sheet metal being fixed.

Of course, I had to have his company adjuster look at my vehicle and therre were a couple more hoops to jump through, but I did it.

Based on the police report and a witness statement, the other drivers insurance company agreed to repair my vehicle and keep my insurance company out of it.

I get to keep my good driver credits and don't have to cough up my deductable or anything like that. As a somewhat unexpected bonus, he has arranged my transportation to and from work in such a way that works for both of us.

The caseworker from my insurance company is mildly astonished that I was so successful.

It didn't take a whole lot on my part, and I will admit that I was lucky to have witnesses and a favorable police report, but still, I did take responsibility for getting off my ass and doing what I could to save my clean record.

Everyone that told me to simply let my insurance company handle it will probably be agog, but I did it. I settled it myself.

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